Loco for Coco: a Grove shopping guide
From crystal balls to couture, chances are you won't leave Coconut Grove empty handed.
By Vanessa Garcia
From the old hippie tracks of Maya Hatcha to the new hippy chic trends of IOS, Coconut Grove has something to offer every age group, and every member of the family -- including the dog (see Pet Gallery). Whether you're looking for designer gear, in search of the ultimate bargain bin or just looking for a place to kick off those newly-bought heels with a good book and a cup of shade-grown coffee, this Old Miami 'hood is a pedestrian friendly, shopping-happy spot that never seems to disappoint.
For the Ladies
Decorated with chalk-drawn electric flowers, this boutique serves up one-of-a-kind Colombian-designed jewelry and handbags that are both whimsical and cutting-edge urban. Silver horn, precious stones, semi-precious stones, turquoise, leather, coral and Swarovski crystals make for pieces that look more like works of art than bracelets, necklaces and rings.
3015 Grand Avenue Suite 157, CocoWalk; 305-448-9822; Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Co-owner and designer Ana Maria Guiulfo describes her store as "an experience for the self-assured, independent woman who truly enjoys dressing to express her originality." One look at Ana G, the store, and it's also evident that Guiulfo revels in her designs, putting together patterns and brushing out line drawings on fabric. Her designs are bold yet feminine and wholly unique. Most of her garments are hand painted, whether on a silk poncho or a cute "Betty Boop" dress. She also transfers her drawings and paintings onto dolls and pieces of furniture. Prices range from $50-$1,500.
3423 Main Hwy, 305-441-2998; Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Sunday
The Fashionista Consignment Boutique
Looking through the racks of The Fashionista must be what it's like to be Madonna's best friend, rummaging through her closet for only-worn-once hand-me-downs. The boutique, which has been in the grove for 15 years, only takes "gently worn" goodies that are "currently in fashion" - these are the rules of the game. This is a high-end consignment boutique, meaning: Hermes, Louis Vuitton, YSL, Prada, Cavalli, Manolo, Jimmy Choo, Dolce and Gabbana, etc. Items that aren't sold within 90 days are either returned to the consigner or placed on sale.
3138 Commodore Plza; 305-443-4331; Tues-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sun & Mon
For over a decade, IOS has been the Grove's most up-to-the-minute style shack (a chic and pricey shack, of course). Racks are filled with glam, girly fun: bikinis, beach dresses, formal wear and gowns, you name it they've got it, and in the latest cut and sexiest color. If you've seen it in Vogue or on Sex and the City, IOS most likely carries it (or a similar version). Oh, and the salesgirls are fabulously mod and ready to share their expertise with whoever walks through the door.
3111 Commodore Plza; 305-442-7166; Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri & Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun noon-8 p.m.
It was back in the days of flower power and Jimi Hedrix that Vivian Jordan opened up this little shop with her sister, Sylvia. Jordon keeps the shop pretty much as it was 40 years ago - filled to the brim with ethnic jewelry and clothes, bedspreads, tapestries and water buffalo sandals. From Indian kurta shirts to straw hats from Madagascar, this shop is a treasure open for daily excavation. Keeping an eye out around places Indonesia, Thailand and Africa, Jordon imports her goods with care, keeping the old-time aura of the store alive.
3058 Grand Ave; 305-443-9040; Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Sparkling accessories, baby clothes, gifts, many-a-scented candle, friendship vases and much more, Brenda's Boutique is filled to the brim with what owner Brenda Weninger calls "pick me ups." Here you'll find Trapp guava and mango candles with 15 to 50-hour burn times, kitchen towels with inscribed aphorisms and delightfully painted teapots. Her clientele, says Weninger, is usually comprised of women ages 25-50 who can "appreciate the adorable." Whether you're looking for a baby shower, birthday, anniversary or graduation gift, there's a price for everyone -- $3.95-$195.
3092 Fuller St; 305-443-4662; Mon-Sat noon-9 p.m.; Sun noon-8 p.m.
Isabel Riera Haute Couture
Five years ago, the well-known Venezuelan fashion designer Isabel Riera opened up a boutique in Coconut Grove. The store, run by her two daughters, Victoria and Isabelita, offers clients exclusive and elegant designs for fair prices, considering the going rate of haute couture. The store is tucked away and small, but always has something pleasing both to the eye and the fit of the body. From stunning coral Italian taffeta to straight black formal wear, it's hard to go wrong shopping here.
3094 Fuller St; 305-443-5450; Mon-Sat noon-8 p.m.; closed Sundays
A library of shoes -- literally. Butter, a small shoe boutique, is designed with exposed stock, library ladders and hanging chandeliers. And yes, everything is "like butter." Sweet ballerina flats that glimmer in silver and gold, black patent leather gladiators made by Tapeet, Missoni, Bloch and Marc by Marc Jacobs -- shoes here are carefully selected for both comfort and style.
3115 Commodore Plaza; 305-443-3434; Mon-Wed 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun noon-8 p.m.
The Shoe Store
Proof that even in a near-recession, you can still kick up your heels. Here, knock-off designer shoes start at $3.99. The highest priced shoe in the store is $24.99. Considering this pink paradise is located in the Grove, where other shoe stores can get you to cough up $399 a pair, the specials here are spectacular. Steve Madden and Tory Burch imitations, ballerina flats, flip-flops, heels, platforms, Tory Burch imitations and imitation Coach bags to boot, what more could shoe-loving girl want?
3062 Grand Ave; 305-476-7773; Sun-Thurs 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri & Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
For the Browser
The Bookstore in the Grove
Finally, a bookstore in the Grove... and not a chain, but rather a quaint shop that's small enough to have a friendly staff and big enough that you can get (or order) practically anything. Carrying approximately 20,000 titles, there's a little bit for everyone here: journals, magazines, local and international newspapers. Lounge in their café and enjoy free WiFi. Apart from their book selection, there are fun goodies like Desperate Houseflies gummi candies and Freudian Slippers.
2911 Grand Ave; 305-443-2855; Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat & Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
This magical little store is advertised as "your divine source for metaphysical products and services," meaning you can find stones that align your charkas, books about religions/beliefs (everything from Judaism to Wicca), healing and self-help and crystal balls through which you'll see the future (if you've got that gift, of course).
3444 Main Hwy Ste 17; 305-461-2341; www.celestialtreasuresnetwork.com; Mon-Thurs noon- 8 p.m.; Fri & Sat noon-10 p.m.; Sun noon-6 p.m.
You might remember this shop from its previous incarnations in Dadeland, The Falls, South Miami and Bayside. It's the fun and funky gift shop (for every price bracket) that owner, Sweet Pea, has brought back to life, this time right in the heart of CocoWalk. "I decided it was time to bring back the concept. I feel that people want to buy stuff that makes them smile, the world is too serious - people need a break, they need to laugh. I look for items that are clever, unusual, functional, well-designed or totally ridiculous, like a frog purse."
3015 Grand Ave, CocoWalk; 305-447-3343; Mon-Thurs & Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri & Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
For the Parents
Designer bowls, studded crystal collars, Faberge egg beds and even a bronze dog bust - these are just a few of your pooch's favorite things, as selected by the Pet Gallery. Here in pet paradise, you can get your pups and kitties everything their little hearts desire, from dietary treats to Burberry coats. And then there's the really spectacular fare, like the limited edition Baldwin scratch post piano-shaped bed that plays tunes like memory, from the Broadway hit musical Cats. You can also get your pet painted into immortality by pet-portrait-painter, Sidewalk Sam (by commission) for $3,000 unframed ($3,500 framed).
3107 Commodore Plza; 305-441-2445; Mon-Fri & Sun noon-8 p.m.; Sat noon-9 p.m.
Who said babies can't be hip? Certainly not Hippo. This children's boutique carries the latest trends in clothes, furniture, strollers, cribs, shoes, accessories and mommy-to-be merchandise. With wears such as Kaloo, Oopa baby, Stokke, Kissy kissy, Diesel, True religion, Paul Frank and more, the Hippo shopper won't be far behind the Hollywood mama.
3435 Main Hwy; 305-648-0250; Mon-Wed 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thusr-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun noon-6 p.m.
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